I can’t say I have any sympathy with the junior doctors – wherever I went in London yesterday they were out there – in front of tube stations as well as hospitals, pressing their cause.

Seeing them standing there, looking to me like well-to-do students, the word ‘entitlement’ sprang to mind. That, I thought, is what this is about. Far from their strike being about patient ‘safety’ as they would have us believe, it is all about the doctors themselves – their comforts and egos.

Promotional pictures of them all over the press displaying their hashtags and virtue signalling credentials said it all. “I am the doctor who breathes for you during your operation”, one of the many signs read. Do they really think they should be paid to to breathe?

What their hashtag campaign actually breathes is the new rights, entitlement and selfie culture they inhabit. They don’t know how lucky they are.

Don’t be a doctor – don’t take a scarce place at medical school that guarantees you not just a well paid job but a lifetime career – if you don’t want to put in the hours. Don’t grab a job security that no one else can be sure of.

Their campaign breathes dishonesty at every level.

What they are really asking is that the government, the NHS, and we – the public – respect the modern, selfish and self-obsessed culture of rights they inhabit.

So young yet so well-versed in the arts of doublespeak are they! And for that we can thank the modern education they’ve received. It’s certainly not one that has taught them a sense of public duty or the gratitude they should feel for their medical training. Rather it’s taught them all about their work/life balance rights which, in straightforward English, means better pay for an easier time.

Thank God we are not at war and heaven help us if we were. Junior doctors would no doubt say they were too tired to operate ‘safely’ – never mind the queue of patients at risk of bleeding to death.

They seem to be singularly out of touch with the real world. It is ironic that these representatives of the most pro-EU generation seem blissfully unaware of their good fortune – compared with the near 25-50 per cent of young people (educated ones too) who are unemployed in many other European countries.

However, the Government only has itself to blame. They have been hoist by their own petard. Modern family-friendly work culture – yes the one that they have so assiduously encouraged with their gender equality legislation – does not go hand in hand with a public service ethos.

Jeremy Hunt can’t have his cake and eat it. Paternity leave and long or unsocial hours are antithetical. Modernisation – which means feminisation of the workforce – has come back to bite the hand that’s fed it.

I am amazed he doesn’t get it. Dominic Lawson highlighted it just a few weeks ago. He described a society split not just between gender and generation but between the public and private sectors.

Lawson contrasted an older (male) doctor versus a young woman doctor – one typical of the young women driving the strike. “In 1998 I was elected a fellow of the BMA in recognition of outstanding service”, the older male said before going on to damn the present-day doctors’ union (BMA) for its withdrawal of labour. He said the young doctors were “pressing the financial needs of the profession, giving little thought to patient care, ethical practice or the need for out-of-hours care”. He finished by saying that “this is not the same organisation I was once proud to serve.” He, like Dr Henry Goodall, who spoke on the Today programme on Wednesday,  represents an era before the medical profession and the NHS had been comprehensively feminised.

The young (women) doctors of today speak a very different language – and have very different values.

As I have written on this site before, girls increasingly dominate places at medical school and in the profession.  Governments,  however, remain blind to the consequences of this – a shortfall in staffing and quality of care. Women do not share men’s commitment to work. Their demands for part-time and family-friendly working conditions have changed the culture of the profession too– negatively. The current strike action is an example of how feminisation corrupts the attitudes of their remaining male colleagues. They too have adopted the women’s self-interested producer capture culture.

No wonder the ‘tears’ they talk about, no wonder the NHS is an unhappy place to work.

Yet it costs some £500,000 to bring each medical student up to the status of a fully trained professional – only a good investment if paid back through long hours when they are young. No government could afford to increase places on the returns they get from short hours at the bedside.

But instead of facing up to this, gender equality obsessed governments have made matters worse – paternity leave legislation being a case in point.

All this, as Dr Howard Goodall pointed out, is the creation of an inexperienced profession. Young doctors need to put in long hours; it is how they gain their very necessary expertise. Their apprenticeship for the consultant posts they eventually seek consists of the ‘hours’ they need to both encounter and observe ‘the natural history of disease’. How else can they learn their trade?

Dr Reena Aggarwal, the young woman doctor on Today programme with Dr Goodall, was outraged. “Thank God those days are over”, she said.

She might thank God, but which of these doctors would you trust most with your care in a medical crisis? Dr Reena Aggarwal or Dr Howard Goodall who trained along with his mainly male colleagues back in the 1960s? I know who I would pick.


(Image: Garry Knight, Flickr)


  1. Specialisms are losing out too. Apparently young women are less interested in old people’s bottoms, etc., and all want to be paediatricians.

    • It’s far worse in nursing since the Blair Creature changed nursing from a calling, a vocation, into a “degree” freezing out the natural carers. So many “nurses” are far too precious to wipe up vomit, piss, or even feed a patient, they have a “Degree” dahling, now stand around chatting at the “nurses station” or walk around with clipboards playing “doctor”. Seen it FIRST HAND. Meanwhile we are plundering third world nations of their real nurses and impoverishing their countries medical care.

      • The ‘degrees for everyone’ debacle has largely killed proper education, as well as the effect on vocational trades you describe. I have taught students on an engineering degree where 50% do not even know how to use a tape measure properly. That is what schools turn out these days. Having also taught in schools, I know why – practical work is dead because too many (not all, but too many) modern teachers want to deliver via powerpoint and worksheets (and the DfE prefer them to); and Health & Safety has caused deep fear, especially at senior management level.

  2. These Junior Doctors should try working in the private sector. Of course, to do so you actually have to be good at your job and have skills that are in demand. That means “psychologists” and other useless fake doctors need not apply. The NHS is a walking corpse anyway…thanks to the public sector mentality and lack of government courage to take the necessary steps to begin charging people who can afford to pay & restricting access to certain services for those who have paid nothing.

      • You are a business selling a product. Like every other consumer, we should have far more control of where we purchase the product and where.

        After all the product costs us £130,000,000 per year and for that we get no choice and often indifferent quality

        In the long run the NHS has to go.

          • You are right. I need another three zeros.

            The 13k figure was found by dividing 130 billion by the population of UK and multiplying by the number on my family

            A voucher would do nicely. If I didn’t need it for health care perhaps I could buy us all a gym or spa membership

            Not joking

          • Healthcare is a bottomless pit for throwing money at unfortunately..Left UK service just as it got politicised by both insiders and fringe bodies and has now become the proverbial ping-pong ball for those to pretend or show their ‘caring face’.
            Keep smiling and all the best for your family. It really is one of the simplest forms of muscle training – good for the heart as well.

  3. When I started my medical training in Edinburgh in 1968 50 % of us were female. We were constantly told what a privilege it was to be there, and how tough the early training years would be.I cant remember a single instance of my colleagues bursting in to tears etc, we just seemed to survive the 80 to 110 hour weeks. Of course these hours were ridiculous- and needed to change. I totally agree that a sense of entitlement is now so prevalent – and regret this hasnt been picked up by a largely ignorant and besotted public – the media are not much better. Most of the doctors interviewed about their so called dreadful treatment by the government are young women, who bang on about how much they care etc about safety. This is a smokescreen but effective one. The dispute now is frankly only about Saturday pay but you wont see this on posters – they are only about saving our nhs, shroud waving of the worst most self indulgent kind.

  4. My God…at least doctors are educated…what 5 year old wrote this affront to the English language…edit yourself

    • No, medics (the vast majority of whom are not doctors) are trained not educated.

      After two years of poor grade education (the emphasis is on memorisation rather than understanding) they then spend three years practising their plumbing, carpentry and allied applied trade skills.

      After that they receive two bachelors degrees and pretend that they are doctors.

      It is very easy to tell the level of qualification of a medic. The vast majority did not learn to really think & understand during their time at university but they have been told how wonderful they are, so they don’t really listen to other people and it is hard for them to understand what is being explained to them.

      Some of them do listen properly and take things on board quickly, and when you check you find that they actually have had a proper education as evidenced by higher qualifications.

      • Wow. You’re quite obviously a vile jealous little cretin.

        I really hope I don’t meet you, or anyone of your disgusting ilk, during my time on the wards. It’s small-minded people like you who make our job difficult.

        • If, as you claim, you are a medic, then you have rather proved my point.

          Rather than trying to offer any counter-argument you just assume the ‘I am a doctor’ high-horse and spew out a personal attack.

  5. I suggest you review the figures for the cost of training as they are incorrect. To train a doctor it is approx £100,000 but now even £45,000 of that is funded by the student via loans. The other erroneous figures often used take into account 5-9 years pay to become a consultant. Stipulating this cost suggests the work that any doctor under the level of a consultant would has no value to either the NHS or the economy – I think we’ll both agree that isn’t true. Their are also compulsory fees surpassing £1,000 which in most nations are covered by employers (and certainly in the financial sector. I’m not a BMA member and I don’t support their argument, but it has been far less manipulated than the evidence Jeremy Hunt quotes. I hate nothing more than the abuse of scientific research and selective use of facts. I would be very careful harping back to ‘ the old days’. All you need do is look at how mortality from anaesthesia has changed.

    • I have no idea where you got that £100,000 figure from but I would be interested to see the source. Most science & engineering courses cost close to £30,000 pa and a medical course is more expensive to provide.

        • When did you do that? International fees for science & engineering courses are now c. £30,000 pa.

          • Friends moved abroad a little while ago whilst their children were at (or about to start) university and they found out that if they did not have a permanent UK address the children would be treated as international students and be liable for fees well north of £20,000 pa. Out of curiosity I checked with a couple of other friends who are university lecturers that these figures were typical and was assured that they are.

            I obviously cannot link to that but I found this
            which clinical (by which I assume they mean medical) degrees as costing on average £24,206 pa with some places charging as much as £34,800.

            Based on that your £20,000 pa is below average and the £25-30,000 I was told about must have been above average figures.

          • I’ve just had a look at where I went, it is now £28,000 so I stand corrected, I guess it is getting close to 10 years ago so showing my age. My preclinical years were a little cheaper than hospital based years but it was a few thousand. Even so I would still say £140,000 is a shade off £600,000. Training time equates to about one afternoon per week or so and is often lost to clinical commitments (not a whine just a statement of facts). All professional exams are covered by the applicant so this should not be included either. As for the dispute, I don’t really care about my wage so much (I agree this is the deep seated issue for the BMA) and I always expected to work weekends and nights to the point I didn’t actually know I got paid more for them.Using NHS resources over 7 days is better, we’re essentially talking about routine care being spread over 7 days, but with current resources which I think has its risks. I really take issue to misrepresentation of science for political gains. I always listen to doctor bashing and a proportion of the time it is right.

            I guess when it comes down to it I’m saying we’re not an unreasonable bunch of people, if people work together there will be a much better solution than a slanging match.

          • I think the piece said £500,000 not £600,000 but in either case that is a lot more than 5 x £28,000 (or even 5 x £35,000).

            Working out the cost of something like this will always be inexact as you have to make assumptions of how much of the cost of something that does two (or more things) is allocated to each. For example: When the most junior of junior doctors are working with a colleague how much of that more experienced colleague’s time is spent teaching? I assume that the £500,000 figure includes a lot of that.

            On the specifics of this article I know female medics (who have children) complain about other, mostly younger, female medics who think that being pregnant / having young children basically gives then an excuse to avoid all of the more anti-social duties. So I suspect that there is something in it.

            And this attitude (‘I have children so I cannot stay past 5pm / work weekends / etc’) is I think a generational one. You will find examples of it in any office.

            “I always expected to work weekends and nights”
            Talking to a current medical student (third year but doing an intercalated degree) during the Christmas vac, I said ‘If you did not want to ever work evenings & weekends they you should not have entered medicine’ and the response was that none of her cohort had thought about that when they applied* and that more experienced students had been telling them how horrible it is.

            *She is not only smart academically but a lot more sensible & grounded than her peers. So I was somewhat taken aback when she said that 18 year olds don’t think about things like that with an implication that it was ridiculous to expect them to do so.

            “Using NHS resources over 7 days is better,”
            Some years ago I had an MRI privately and was told that I could have it done in c. two days time if I could come at c. 8:45. I am pretty sure that I was the last one of the day. So maximising the most of the, very expensive, equipment, without, IMO, making life unduly hard for the staff.

            “we’re essentially talking about routine care being spread over 7 days, but with current resources which I think has its risks.”
            I do understand that. However I think that there are other things to bear in mind as well, like early intervention. People are exhorted to see their GP if they see X, Y or Z as it may be a sign of something more serious. However many (most?) people have to take a day off work to see their GP and a lot will be unwilling to do so just as a precaution. If the GP says “It’s probably nothing but I want you to go to hospital for a test”, then that is another day off work.

            I believe that there is reasonably good evidence that men are (or at least historically have been) sicker when diagnosed than women as they were more likely to be out at work and so did not go to their GP until they were really ill. I have anecdotal evidence to support that.

  6. A controversial piece, highly insulting in places (I’m sure just to get traction-a bit like Katie Hopkins does), but does highlight an issue with our current work force demographic. I’m not quite sure where Kathy put her solution though? I’m guessing it’s travel back in time to the 40’s, or tap our red heels together and wish the problem away? Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s mine: Why don’t we accept that we are in the 21st century, that emancipation happened, and to the best of our abilities someone shouldn’t have their job prospects defined by their gender. Once we have all reluctantly grasped this, we could actually employ enough doctors (based on merit only) to cover for life’s little inconveniences like children, and could give them terms which entice them to stay as opposed to swanning off to fairer shores.

    • In English that reads

      “we should pay even more, for the same service”

      Less a solution, more a repetition of a past mistake, while vainly hoping for a different outcome..

  7. Yeah, it’s just so inconsiderate of us to get ill outside office hours…. The telling thing is that the BMA are demanding overtime rates outside office hours. Firstly, overtime is time in addition to your normal hours, another word being corrupted for political ends. Secondly and MOST importantly, not a single mention of PATIENT CARE apart from spurious “safety” scares and of course the now ritual “Save the NHS” signs. Not sure I’d trust them to check the oil in my car, and having experienced some of the latest crop, or is that crap, of junior doctors at our local A&E who in 4 hours and a virtually empty A&E on a Saturday night, were more concerned at sitting at computers and giving the illusion of activity. They were not happy when challenged., I would prefer to go to a caring medic, our cat’s VET.

    • Well, your cat’s vet has been properly educated and is competent. Hence vets are, in extremis, allowed to work on people but medics are not allowed to work on animals.

      • What? Vets are not allowed to work on people, you absolute moron. How many vets do you see strolling through hospitals dolling out medication or carrying out procedures on human beings?

        There’s something called the GMC, you should look it up. In fact, you should try reading something, ANYTHING, about medicine before you start extolling your complete and utter pap about things your feeble mind can’t comprehend!

          • I read them and comprehended them just fine thank you, what you seem to have misunderstood is that in using the words in extremis you’ve inadvertently claimed that a doctor could not work on an animal in extremis, when that is clearly untrue, as ANYONE can work on an animal in extremis.

            Also, crucially, you’ve failed to acknowledge that even someone as stupid as you can carry out CPR on a stricken individual, if there is nobody more qualified around you.

          • “I read them and comprehended them just fine thank you,”
            So it is obvious then that you talking about “vets … strolling through hospitals dolling out medication or carrying out procedures on human beings” was you trying to change the subject because you lack a decent argument.

            “when that is clearly untrue, as ANYONE can work on an animal in extremis”
            I made the, clearly in your case, mistaken assumption that I was addressing a reasonable & intelligent audience.

            Of course anyone can perform basic first aid on any human or animal. What I had thought was clear was actions beyond that, administering drugs, operating, etc.

          • Seriously, what?

            You’ve completely contradicted yourself. Vets cannot administer drugs to or operate on humans, even in extremis.

            They can however, as we have established, in extremis, perform basic life support, as can any member of the public regardless of their profession.

            If what you are talking about is some ridiculous scenario, whereby a vet is with a human in some remote place and there are no doctors around, then yes, they could feasibly operate or administer drugs to a human.

            But, before you celebrate, I’m quite confident that if a surgeon (a proper one, with a proper medical education) was in a similar situation with an animal they could operate and most certainly administer medication.

          • Compare
            “Vets cannot administer drugs to or operate on humans, even in extremis.”
            “If what you are talking about is some ridiculous scenario, whereby a vet
            is with a human in some remote place and there are no doctors around,
            then yes, they could feasibly operate or administer drugs to a human.”
            then look up the definition of ‘in extremis’ and see if you can spot the contradiction.

          • Furthermore, your weird predilection for admonishing medical education in this country has no basis in actual fact does it? Because (and I assume here based on your stance) you have not studied medicine yourself, and therefore have absolutely no idea what it involves. Is that a fair assessment?

  8. The NHS has substituted managerialism for professionalism. It is not reasonable to expect its employees to hamstring themselves in contractual negotiations with an monopsonic employer. The NHS can hardly complain of a strike by employees who are neither allowed to operate professionally, nor paid sufficiently for them to conduct themselves above the mercenary fray.

  9. Every day boatloads of highly qualified doctors and nurses arrive at Lesbos. Many are making their way across Europe and hundreds of highly qualified medics are lingering in Calais idling their time watching productions of Hamlet and engaging with our highly influential media.
    The conclusion is obvious: sack the UK junior doctors ad replace them with the unending supply of migrant talent.

    • This would also cut the number of STEM teachers required in UK education to about 15, which co-incidentally is how many proper ones there are left…BARGAIN!! 😉

    • Yeah that’s a really practical solution. I can see that you’re clearly an intelligent, considered individual who puts a lot of thought into what they say on these disgusting forums.

      And as you clearly have such a wise grasp of the situation, I’m also confident that you are in complete control of your health and that of your relatives, with the knowledge and nous to treat yourself of any affliction that may befall you. And I’m sure you’ve never relied on any junior doctors from this country before, because such hypocrisy would be completely beneath you wouldn’t it?

      • We try not to rely on the junior doctors from this country or those who bought their degrees in exotic far off lands. As for my family, we lost two who were past retirement age to the Liverpool cost cutting pathway last year. Once they were given the initial drugs there was no point in exercising informed consent to withdraw them from the programme; they were done for. At least we had the satisfaction of playing war time Glen Miller music to the old lady before they finished her off. Much to the annoyance of the British hating nurses. .

    • I would be so proud to think that we were encouraging doctors and nurses to leave Syria so that they can work in the NHS.

  10. Yes the cut in pay being imposed on the Junior Doctors is because of the feminisation of the profession. Every profession that was male dominated and then becomes female dominated sees a cut in pay and status.
    Women are not to blame for this. The fact that men are increasingly choosing higher paid jobs and not entering medicine is very clear to see.
    The quote in the article about the older male doctor is only a conformation that the profession used ot be better pai and higher status. An older male consultant now on a higher salary plus private work and having enjoyed completely free medical training in his younger years is no way a reflection of what younger dotors now have to endure.
    The conract being imosed by Hunt will not work. Doctors will work to the strict hours of the contract, refuse to do any unpaid hours and look for better pay elsewhere. Te NHS will increasingly have to rely on expensive locums just like it does with nurses. No money will be saved but the NHS will get worse from the point of view of the patient.

    • Let me spell it out for you.
      It takes half a million to train a doctor.
      The majority of doctors are now female, which means the majority of that money is going on women to fill the profession.
      When these women become pregnant shortly after graduating, there is then a shortfall of staff as they go on maternity leave and then return to work on less hours.
      This results in the requirement for another doctor to fill this gap. So guess what, that’s right, another half a million is needed to train another doctor.
      Then when these doctors return on shortened hours they no longer ‘give’ extra time, as professionals always have done, because they need to return to their young families. So these older doctors you disparage who would have given extra time have been replaced by female doctors who work to rule in effect. As one female doctor in my circle explained to me when I asked her how she balanced such an intensive job with raising her toddler, another on the way and a husband in the marines; “I make sure that when to five o’clock I leave and don’t do any extra time, my family life is too important. It’s ok though I can do this as doctors are so scarce you can basically demand your hours and they have to give it to you.”

      Notice there was no concern over the patients, or awareness that it was people like her demanding things like this that created the shortfall in the first place.
      That’s without considering the lack of sleep has on productivity etc. But of course, it’s all the shellfish men’s fault isn’t it?

      • Let me spell it out for you… Doctors usually graduate aged 23/24 and are now expected to work till the age of 68- 44 years of active service. If a female doctor has 2 children in that time and takes the maximum of 2 years maternity leave that would reduce her active service to 42 years i.e. a 4.5% reduction service time- hardly revolutionary really.
        Maybe it would be easier to “give” extra time for professionals with young families (male and female as we do not live in the dark ages anymore and -shock horror- young fathers do pick up their kids from nursery too) if the surrounding service provisions for families were better equipped- i.e. affordable childcare with nurseries open past 6pm and good wrap around care.
        Of course it would be much more sensible to just ban women from university again as not to “waste” any time and money on their education… you do know this is 2016 and that we live in the UK and not Saudi Arabia??

        • Ok, I’ll speak real slow then. I didn’t just include maternity leave did I? I deliberately included maternity leave – one year – along with the reduced hours that inevitably occurred once a doctor has returned. You, apparently, deliberately side stepped this by referring to the two years only. So your either disnegnious with your ‘hardly revolutionary really’ or can’t read. If you doctorate is real and in medicine I’m a bit worried either way. You also ignored the reality of ruining two doctors to fill this one post, and the subsequent costs.
          Comparing the young fathers who pick up their kids to female doctors doing part time hours is not honest either. Howeve, the era laity is its the feminisation of the workplace that has led to this fact too.
          As for your other statements – affordable childcare i.e. taxpayer funded,
          – affordable childcare that stays open past six – tax payer funded, worked by predominantly women, who have gone into this role because it fitted round their kids, but now find they are having to work all those extra hours to support more privileged families.
          Now, now you try and equate my comments with wanting to ‘ban women from universities’ so as to not waste time on their education??? Not that they, you know, should be able to manage their own lives themselves and not make everyone else – including their patients – pick up the slack. But then, why argue wi the facts when you can demean your opponent.
          Funnily enough there were female doctors before 2016. It’s just to be one those women made choices because you can’t have it all. What you want is to have it all – the status, the time off, someone else doing the boring parts like the actual childcare and pick up the bill too.

          • Well done. Nice summary of the Marxist mess most of the country is in.

            Why we don’t make anything here anymore and why 130 billion buys us not a lot of healthcare

          • Thankyou. What gets me is that this is a protest against having to work weekends, whilst suggesting that in order for them to do their job other women have to work longer hours and weekends. Other women who aren’t as well paid or powerful. That’s the ‘caring’ NHS.

          • women from poor families have to leave their kids with the state simply to pay rich women like these have a even nicer lifestyle

            it is called greed.

            But now they call it much nicer words.

            The result is the same.

            State sponsored selfishness.

          • That’s because society still expects women to bear the brunt of childcare and the housework. Studies show that women still do the vast majority of the housework, even where both partners are working full time.

            Norway and Sweden have far more progressive childcare policies and attitudes and fathers there are almost as likely as mothers to stay home and look after the children.

          • Wow- you are quite angry and aggressive, aren’t you?
            You want to talk evidence and data- let’s do that. Show me the exact data about hours worked, broken down by age, of female and male doctors. Where is your evidence that female doctors (implied “predominately”) work significantly fewer hours than male doctors (of the same generation may I add). And then, where is the evidence that this has led to a detriment for patients?
            And while we are telling anecdotes and assuming (where did anyone say we want to “have it all” and we want other ppl to do “boring” child care for us- who cannot read now?) my mother is a doctor, mother of 3, worked FT thanks to doing so in a country where childcare wasn’t horrendously expensive and having family support.
            So what do you suggest? Discourage women to go to medical school? Discourage female doctors to have children? Discourage female doctors with children to look after them themselves? I am honestly confused what your suggestion is- have cake and eat it, don’t have cake, bake cake? What?
            PS: I have a PhD

          • No sweetheart – you don’t get to pull the angry and aggressive bit after your insinuation that I wanted us to be on a par with Saudi Arabia. Look in the mirro and, what expression did you use, ah yes, shock horror, you might actually be leading on the agressive front yourself.
            As for your request for data, why bother. You’ve already acknowledged I’m right with your comment ant men picking up kids from daycare. Such a small task – if it’s such a balanced work division why was that your go to? As for facts – why don’t you look at the paediatrics units dominated by women, that can no longer function because of the requirement to cater for women’s parenting hours? Or look at the MPs, women MPs may I add, who raised the crises facing the NHS because of the constant requirement to train and replace female part time doctors? Why are these people raising these as issues if there is no detriment to patients.
            Your mothers inexpensive child support still came from the brow of other people – either through taxes or low wages. All your doing is proving my arguments for me.
            As for your final lines – thankfully your not assuming what I think now – I would suggest people in high powered, privileged positions supported by tax payers recognise this fact. They recognise that when they call for subsidised childcare to make things more financially viable for them they do so at the detriment of the poor who end up paying more taxes and who are, ultimately, forced to work longer hours as child providers.
            The alternative is female doctors have to make some hard decisions like – have a discussion with their partners before having children, decide who’s going to care for them and take a hit in income wether it’s the male or female doing it.
            Or, pay themselves for childcare.
            Or, don’t have kids if the money’s more important.
            It’s not me suggesting people have their cake and eat it. It’s you. But it’s always someone else supplying the cake.

        • Ahh, when someone can’t respond to an argument they can at least try and belittle an opponent. Well done.

      • Massive state investment in universal free childcare should be the cornerstone of government policy.

        This would enable thousands more female doctors to work full-time, as well as reducing the gender pay gap.

        • Massive state investment i.e. forcing other people, predominantly poorer than these doctors, to pay for the childcare of women who have well paid careers so they can keep more of their money. Massive sate coercion making women who work in childcare work longer hours to care for the children of these doctors – ironically, going into THEIR family time, what the doctors are objecting to for themselves.
          But then, we alway knew you’re against poor women. How is your worship of power going? Thrown any mor inconvenient women under the bus?

          • Universal free childcare, from the cradle onwards, could be funded by a massive windfall tax on bankers’ bonuses. And if they threaten to emigrate, seize their assets and shut down all offshore tax havens.

          • So, steal their property? I note you ignore the women who’ll be forced to work these hours. So that who you’re throwing under the bus in your worship of power today. Right, just so we all know then.

          • They don’t get it. It’s always one way. Not ‘Dr T’ and her insinuation I’m angry and aggressive after she’s stated in want women to be tasted like in Saudi Arabia.

      • You actually have the nub of it. Friend of mine runs an office and what happens is you get a young woman who gets married (or not as case maybe) and before you can say knife is expecting. So there is a year of maternity leave, which has to be covered in someway. They come back and demand part-time hours. You can lay good money that none of them work on Friday, but Friday has to be covered with staff. When the holiday rota comes around school holidays are their ‘right’ as is Christmas etc. My friend, who is a man, actually dared to say one year that he wanted to have time off over Christmas having covered Christmas for the previous 5 years. These woman were up in arms at that. ‘How dare he. We have families !’ And so it goes on.

        • My sympathies to your friend! Of course, children don’t need fathers in the same way as mothers, yet children don’t need mothers either – or so this argument goes. It’s kind of like the abortion debate. Women’s wants define reality.

          • This particular man is Gay, but has very elderly parents with whom he wished to spend an extended Christmas – neither were particularly well. He was very shocked by the utter selfishness these women displayed, the sense of entitlement, and as he said the utter contempt they had for him as an unmarried man. That what these ‘doctors’ are displaying in spades.

  11. Well said. Seeing these young excited people outside my local hospital yesterday, with their hand painted slogans saying Save the NHS, I thought they were about as far removed from my image of a proper doctor as it is possible to get. Of course, they may have a case but to abandon your patients for more money seems to me simply shocking.

  12. To some extent this is a consequence, not of a culture of “rights” (although that plays a part, to be sure) but of the very fact of our Fabian socialist system of healthcare of the NHS. We should want people in the profession who are, in the best sense, “selfish”, as in being passionate about achieving their maximum potential as doctors, surgeons and nurses. We want people who see their patients as equals – buyers of their services and skills, rather than people who obediently receive what the men and women in white coats deign to give them. I am no doubt going to be dismissed as some sort of Thatcherite ideologue when I say that if we want to change the attitudes the author complains about, we need to get the socialism out of healthcare. I don’t see a problem with the fact that so many women are doctors, however. That says more about the standards of education achieved by young men as it does about anything else.

  13. Is there anywhere this destructive consequence not felt? Even the Intelligence Services are now saddled with job sharing, employment quotas, women fitting work in around child care and the rest of the nonsense. Now women are to be included in front-line combat roles. That will contribute nothing to our safety, though it will make soapy duffers like Cameron look good in the company of his fellow social democrats.

    And of course the comic possibilities are endless.

    • I suppose if a guy gets turned down in future.

      He dons a dress and comes back now “feeling” he is a woman.

      Quotas will mean he is in.

      He can then change back into his old clothes

      • Brilliant! I once, jokingly, threatened to turn up
        at work dressed as a woman. The boss and I laughed it off – but the next week
        he told me that, having looked through various pieces of legislation and
        consulted with his professional body, it seemed that absolutely nothing could
        be done about it if I had. Might be an idea to try it.

      • The economy needs men and women to work. It also needs the population to reproduce. Medicine has become female dominated because it is nolonger an attractive career to many men. Here starts a downhill spiral in the status of the profession in the eyes of people like you and so fewer men want to join the profession. There is plenty space for them – A&E, GP, Psychiatry and Paediatrics are in recruitment crisis. They do not appeal to many as the working conditions are so poor. Throw in this new contract and it gets worse. You cannot blame women doctors for being ambitious enough to take on a career and perhaps take a few years out to have children. They are not the problem and misogynistic bilge like this is not the answer.

        • “misogynistic bilge”

          Ah now we have the insult, the label. The way the left tries to stifle debate.

          The word itself shows that you are not pro-women Ann. You are anti family, anti men and absolutely anti all women who think differently to you and do not agree that more Big State and Day Orphanages are the answer to every problem.

          In short, you hate every woman who is not like you and thinks differently to you.

  14. I work in a government hospital in Australia. Even the female admin staff have this attitude- there are budget cuts across the board and they are all calling in sick regularly, complaining when they don’t get their tea breaks on time, and constantly swapping shifts or trying to get days off. Even those working 3 days a week can’t seem to manage that. I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve worked both private and public sectors, across numerous industries.

  15. When was the last time we heard of car workers striking?
    That’s because the state, with all its corruption and incompetence, has finally left the car industry alone.
    The shareholder-driven suppliers work with the unions to increase efficiency, workers’ pay and product quality.
    That’s what these NHS careerists don’t understand.

  16. The breathing sign obviously refers to junior doctors supervising patients on life support machines. I would have thought that would be abundantly clear to someone so well versed in the complexities of the issue.

  17. When Aneurin Bevan said he’d have to ‘stuff the doctors’ mouths with gold’ in order to persuade them to support the NHS, he couldn’t have guessed the same treatment was still needed.

  18. Bizarre I’ll informed rant. I am the generation of senior doctors who worked ”shifts” of 80 hours in a go ie Friday morning and till Monday evening. Then back at work Tuesday morning until Wed evening and so on. Two days off a fortnight. Called a one in two. We killed people regularly through exhaustion. I did this in obstetrics and recall some very poor outcomes because of exhaustion. I am 53 and female. Had children late….you couldn’t possibly as a junior, many didn’t manage to as by the time they were ”senior” they were too old. Be careful what you wish for……the question to ask yourself is do you wish to be treated by a doctor who has had no sleep for many hours? If you do what you say has some credence.
    I fully support the ”juniors” remember these are men and women up to age 40. I don’t believe in sending small boys up chimneys either…reflect carefully.
    I was a conservative voter from a very toryshire part of the country but this I’ll educated poorly informed type of stuff makes me think very carefully.Madam you don’t know you are born.

    • “do you wish to be treated by a doctor who has had no sleep for many hours? ”

      What I want is my share of the health care budget so I can make my own choices.

      In a word I don’t want a one size fits all Stalinist healthcare “system”

        • Its the very definition of socialism – to each according to need, from each according to ability (to pay). Who gets what has no connection to who pays for what. Thats socialism.

        • One huge organisation that everyone has to pay for.

          No choices. No freedom. No future.

          That is why the left love it so much

      • Fine…..husband loves jerks like you we educated our children on private practice income and continue to do so…..Junior doctors would be far better off in a private system and indeed are when they emigrate. Careful what you wish for when you are old or have pre existing conditions or an emergency and are uninsurable.

  19. Ms. Gyngell erroneously claims the medical profession has been “feminised”.

    However, she is wrong.

    There still aren’t enough women in the top jobs in the medical profession.

    We need more female consultant doctors and surgeons.

  20. Over 80% of NHS workers are female.

    No wonder the misogynists hate it.

    A lot of these sexist throwbacks still can’t get their chauvinistic heads round the notion that women can have a career outside the home.

    Deep down, they would rather we all returned to being docile, submissive, sweet 1950s housewives doing our husbands’ domestic chores and having dinner on the table when they got home from the office.

    Deep down, they are uncomfortable with the notion of women being independent and having ambitions outside the home.

    Maybe they feel intimidated by the thought of competing against women in the workplace?

    If the NHS workforce were 80% male, we’d be forever hearing stories about how great it is and how it needs more investment.

    • I don’t care if the workers are male or female.

      I do care if a huge amount of money is thrown at a system that is built on the Soviet model.

      I would like competition and choice. Something 130 billion does not provide it seems

  21. Who needs Buffy Frobisher spewing his anti-women bile in the golf club bar when you can get a woman to do it for him?

  22. How dare you, Ms. Gyngell.

    With your incredibly broad, sweeping generalization, you are gravely insulting the hard-working female teachers and doctors by saying they are less hard-working than their male counterparts.

    As a teacher, I assure you I work just as hard as – if not harder than – my male colleagues.

    Likewise, if I were a medical doctor, a career path I chose not to go down, I fail to see why I would not be as hardworking as my male colleagues.

    You are an embarrassment to our gender, Ms. Gyngell.

    You need to apologize. Fast.

    • Ha you’re a teacher!!!!

      Who would have imagined you would come from another feminised, coddled, unproductive sector? Well, now I put it like that…….

          • You are in no position to judge my productivity. You aren’t fit to be my judge, you bitter little misogynist.

          • I have a First in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. I don’t mean to be immodest, but I think my ability to produce original thought and formulate a coherent, convincing argument in the aforementioned fields has been established beyond doubt by my Oxford degree.

            Would you care to set your educational and academic credentials against mine?

          • A first in PPE!!!. Most people I studied with at university would have been ashamed to admit that’s what they wasted their time on at university.

            Why didn’t you study some real STEM subjects and actually be a contributor to the country, instead of another useless drone?

          • No I’m contemptuous that you wasted time doing the equivalent of colouring in pretty pictures for several years.

            Have you ever actually designed something, created something, discovered something, fixed something, made something, healed someone?

          • “reduced to teaching”

            You clearly had an unsuccessful time at school. I’m sorry for the effect this has clearly had upon your mental health, but it simply won’t do to take your bitterness out on teachers.

            I could easily have achieved a more lucrative career in the fields of Law, Medicine or Finance. But the opportunity to inspire and shape the minds of our future generations is the most rewarding job there is. That’s why I do it.

          • PPE! And I don’t think you’re even being ironic. Hilarious!!!!!!

            Sadly all I’ve done is run a highly successful business in a hugely competitive market. Oh,if only I had a degree in the 21st century counterpart of Sociology.

          • “Sadly all I’ve done is run a highly successful business in a hugely competitive market.”

            Like Donald Trump.

            I rest my case.

          • You would. I mean, actually achieving something in the real world in competition with clever, ambitious people doesn’t stack up against a weak academic certificate does it?

          • Not judging by your comments here. Most of them are ridiculous and remind me of your alter ego telemachus.

          • And you are a bitter misandrist as almost every one of your comments here demonstrates. You are not participating here but just harassing a website whose USP ‘Conservative Woman’ you would prefer to not exist.

        • A teacher.

          That’ll be one of those useless spongers who deliver the lowest standard of literacy in the OECD, and the second lowest standard of numeracy. Judging by your own irrational maunderings, and limited command of written English, it’s rather a shame you couldn’t get something more appropriate to your talents.

          Shelf stacking, for instance.

        • So, what are you going to do about the gender inequality in primary school teaching where men make up only 21-23% of the workforce?

    • I am calling Kathy right now, to tell her your demands. Gosh, I can just here her running now, to ‘apologise’ and ‘fast.’

    • You are a fool.

      It seems quite inappropriate that anyone so stupid should be a teacher, even if it is only, as in your case, of dogs.

      • A bully too, whose comments are either ridiculous boasts and provocations or threats against anyone who dares to write anything disapproved of.

        • The shrill tone, constant boasting, weird projections, general ignorance and hysterical spitefulness, and the form of the moniker, all suggest that this is another manifestation of Fabian Delusions, a troll familiar on a number of websites.

          • Yes indeed and linked to ‘telemachus’, a troll with a proven pattern of behaviour in using multiple accounts as well as other peoples pseudonyms to harass conservative websites. The subterfuge involved removes any shred of merit in what is being posted. Simply agitprop and harassment.

  23. What sort of conservative thinks that it is the role of the State to impose(!) a so-called contract on individuals when there is no national emergency?

    If the State wishes to provide healthcare it can pay for it. If it can’t afford that, then get out of the market. If it regrets spending the money on training them, draft the initial (freely entered into) contract better. The government failed to do that and is reaping what it sowed.

    Doctors do not have a professional duty to provide all treatments all of the time. They are entitled to time off, they are entitled to be paid. No seriously thought through system of ethics would argue otherwise. Where the line falls on those issues is part of this dispute and a thoughtful piece would recognise this, rather than trying to force this issue (like more or less every other one) into an incoherent rant about women who think differently to the author.

    • If the State is the employer, it can.

      If the employee doesn’t want it then leave. Nobody is forcing them to be doctors in the NHS. Be nice if they paid their training fee back though.

      • That is true. And this is why the NHS is haemorrhaging doctors. Better start brushing up on how to do an appendicectomy, because you may soon have to do your own. Ouch!

        • No problem, I’m all for freedom of choice and happy to have all my tax money back and pay for treatment.

          Let them find their market value. The best will like the result, others won’t, which is just as it should be,

      • Except normally an employer cannot force an entirely new contract on employees. In this country (and very peculiarly) the State is a near monopoly employer in healthcare by force of legislation. That rather changes the complexion of the employment relationship, just as it changes the supplier/consumer relationship too.

        And of course the employees can leave. No reason (legal or moral) to pay back the sums paid on their training. Their prospective employer paid those on the assumption that this would provide a long-term workforce. The contracts entered into at the earlier stages don’t do that. A competent employer would have drafted better contracts. But the NHS did not do that, and is now trying to remedy that in a way that involves imposing itself.

        • Course they can change a contract. Consultation has been done and now it can change. They don’t have to take it of course.

          Certainly they don’t have to repay; they got their quarter-mill of free training and a nice deal it was too. If they all have it on maybe we’ll think twice about bunging people free training megabucks without strings.

          Time to clear away the bull and open it all up to a market solution.

        • You misunderstand. Hunt will impose new contracts on all those who change jobs. That is his right as an employer to do so. If they remain with the same Trust they will retain the same contract and rights. Once they change or come into the job it is the new contract.

        • “Except normally an employer cannot force an entirely new contract on employees.”

          Tell that to anyone who has been forced to re-apply for their own job following a merger or re-organisation.

  24. I do not think you deserve to have a roll that is supposed to represent women. As a female GP I am someone who hopefully our current junior doctors may become in the next few years. I am proud of what they have done, The junior doctors have stood up for what they believe to be the right thing, what is fair and what is safe. You seem to have misunderstood the general principals. JH wants more doctors to work weekends but no increase in funding and no increase in doctors, therefor there either has to be less doctors during the week, making that unsafe, or the current doctors have to work more, making them unsafe as they will be tired. The contract comes as a package, the BMA had negotiated other changes on the condition that income was split fairer to compensate those working at weekends. Saturday is not a normal day, have you ever tried to get childcare on a saturday? My plumber, electrician etc all charge a premium for a Saturday, but it is part of the whole package that keeps a lid on hours and makes sure that doctors are not unsafe. To use Henry Goodall as an example is a joke, he qualified in the 1960s when you just put patients to bed for 6 weeks if they had a heart attack and then spent most of the rest of his career as an occupational health physician, well known for working long hours ( not) Even in the 20 years since I left medical school workload has changed enormously, we worked hard but it was very different, workload across medicine has increased especially in the last 5 years.
    Demonising women as as to the cause of the problems and saying they arent prepared to work hard is shameful and not true.

    • As a supposedly well-educated professional, it is worrying that you seem unaware of
      the difference between “roll” and “role”; or between “principal” and “principle”.

    • I was going to ask ‘What are you going to replace the Hippocratic oath with now it is discredited’?
      Then I found it is no longer sworn.
      How did that happen and yet you still call yourselves Doctors and live on past achievements.

      • “I will not permit considerations of . . . political affiliation . . . to intervene between my duty and my patient”

    • Well, suggesting that someone should not have a ‘roll’ (sic) simply because their views do not conform to yours is rather typical of the vociferous, selfie and scary fascist-lite generation emerging in the UK.

      And I realise doctor’s handwriting is traditionally illegible but it is ‘role’. Something a GP, female or otherwise, really ought to know. A ‘roll’ is something you buy for lunch or do on the floor, laughing.

  25. Oh give it a rest.

    Can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. As for patient safety, stop hiding behind platitudes and be honest that doctors want all the financial support through training, the adulation for their imagined care for others, and not to have to serve the apprenticeship.

  26. “You sit in your cushy 9-5 job and get paid twice as much as the doctors that work thirteen hour shifts and twelve day stretches.”

    You may want to check how much doctors earn. They are vastly over-paid in the UK.

    • Actually, YOU might want to check how much doctors actually earn. It is MUCH less than quoted in the newspapers (unless someone else has been receiving my pay cheque). Having spent almost twenty years in continuous education, working 60+ hour weeks plus many more hours in study, shouldering life and death decisions, my pay is about a quarter of what I could earn in Canada or Australia for an equivalent number of hours (once unpaid work is taken into account). Alternatively it might be worth looking at hourly rate. Today I will spend at least twelve hours in work on my unpaid day off. That is twelve hours at £0.00 / hour. That is twelve hours unpaid which I can not spend with my family. That is twelve hours looking after the health of my patients while my own coronary arteries slowly fur up because I have no time to exercise or eat healthily. I do this every week, in addition to four or five hours for free at the end of each and every working day in addition to working right through my lunch “break.” If you can honestly tell me that you have worked at least 80 extra intense unpaid hours in the last month for the wellbeing of others, then I will retract my comment and apologise. And if you are not doing this, try it for a few months and comment again.

      • So how much do you get paid ? What are your pension contributions ? Put some figure on your argument. The Government have offered an exceptionally generous pay rise. I see my hard earned taxes being spent on hospitals with loads of shiny equipment that lies idle for far too long. I do not see why it should be sitting doing f*** all Saturday and Sunday just so you lot can ‘enjoy family time’. Get real man. You should have compromised with the Government yonks ago instead the Fascist Left are spoiling for a fight. Hunt has done the right thing.

      • Comparing to doctors in other countries is specious. The U.S. in particular is all about ripping off the consumer.

      • I do believe that and I’m not saying you don’t work hard and are dedicated. However that description could be applied to many many people across the nation’s workforce who do not and will never enjoy such a varied and interesting career. You should not forget them as you rise up the gilded NHS payscales. PS I’d be happy to shadow you and be proved wrong … Or …. Right.

  27. Dear Kathyu
    It is somewhat disappointing that this comes from a woman. I can’t help but to think your upbringing was old fashion and traditional.
    One could argue that men don’t have the same dedication to family as women, but this is changing thanks to more gender equality culture. In my line of work I have witnessed the level of commitment women devout to their careers in medicine and I would be one that wouldn’t chose who to treat me or my family based on gender.
    I would urge you to have an open mind with regards to gender biases. And certainly, the junior doctor crisis has nothing to do with this.
    PS, just for your information: those that breathe for you during your operation are anaesthetists, without whom you would feel pain and remember being cut, and if they didn’t breathe for you’ while you are anaesthetised, you would choke to death during an operation. They deserve to be well paid.

    • Doctors, like anaesthetists, get (well) paid. Stop pretending the medical trade is doing the public a favour.

      • Can I just clarify for the record, the doctors have never asked for more money.
        Also, for your information anaesthetists are doctors.
        I am genuinely concerned about the future of the NHS and so are thousands of doctors. Doctors are trying to get the public behind the NHS, because we know it is threatened by these measures. Doctors don’t think they are doing favours with the work they do, they are professionals and employees. If the British public understood this as a threat to the NHS as it exists, there will be large protests in the streets. It is worth fighting for.

    • “It is somewhat disappointing that this comes from a woman.”

      That’s a sexist comment as it implies that all women must agree with your point of view from a position of their gender rather than their mind.

  28. When private and public sector collide.

    I share some of the junior doctors anger from the perspective that they have ended up in a state controlled profession which will extract it’s pound of flesh from their hides.

    The Public sector workforce were always considered to have taken badly paid employment compared to the more lucrative and risky private sector. In recent decades this situation has reversed as public sector have increasingly become regarded as the Crown Jewels of industry.

    Consecutive governments have handed out greater salaries and associated pensions to their workers. They have equalised pay and removed much of the ability of management to fire poor workers. The Labour Party wanted the public sector vote and the unions wanted a solid customer base to ensure their survival and salaries.

    The problem we face is the size of the public debt and deficit compared to the private sector earnings that fund it all. Essentially the NHS is unsustainable, it’s uncompetetive, it’s salaries don’t reflect reality and it’s locked itself into a culture in which the working conditions are unattractive because the total salaries are so high that the workforce is smaller than the organisation requires. It’s not so much the hours worked, but the intensity of the work. As the organisation has asked for more and more through put for the same hours. Doctors always expected long hours, but they were not working at 100% for an entire shift as they do now, so the hours worked doesn’t really reflect the productivity.

    I think junior doctors are right to voice concern, but I think their own arguments are flawed. They cannot compare themselves to junior doctors 40 years ago, they only know that they are working flat out for fairly low pay and are being asked to push themselves even harder. They are in a cleft stick. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. I don’t agree with them striking, but it’s not really their fault that they are doing so. What the NHS needs is a boat load more Doctors and Nurses, but there is no money to pay for it, so the Government are just demanding more in order that the service doesn’t collapse.

    The answer is total privatisation and I suspect this will now become ever more likely now we have the signs of a recession coming at us. We have run out of time and this latest strike will be forgotten very quickly.

    • Why do you imagine that privatising the NHS would make it cheaper? Its already pretty much the cheapest and most efficient health system in the OECD. Private healthcare gives you overtreatment of the rich and undertreatment of the poor. Is that what you want to see?

      • Firstly you are using a straw man argument with ‘is that what you want to see’ ?

        Secondly, what I ‘want to see’ or ‘you want to see’ are a far cry from what we can actually have. Who would argue against the idea of truly free healthcare for everyone for ever ? Certainly not me, it sounds ideal and pretty good.

        However this isn’t the choice we have. You don’t get something for nothing, that’s the way the world works even if we might wish it worked some other way. Healthcare, like any other kind of good has to paid for. Someone has to produce something in order to consume something.

        What’s the reality of your claim in context with the OECD, well it’s the most comprehensive and reaches the greatest number of people, but it isn’t rated highly when it comes to specific performance outcomes. Its actually rated quite poorly. Far from being the Crown Jewels it’s actually pretty mediocre and more and more people are preferring to go abroad for specialist treatment they cannot find at here.

        What makes me certain that a fully paid competetive health service would be better:

        1. Every private, competitive industry (and I mean here fully private and not tax payer funded government privatisation) has the effect of reducing prices and innovation. Thus, what starts off as a high cost good only available to the wealthy becomes increasingly affordable by those with less money. It is actually the wealthy that make this possible, they are early adopters and are therefore market creators. They buy the £10000 mobile phones first in order that we have £10 phones today. It means that we get more and more for less and less. The health industry is no different.

        2. Public sector services are inherently inward looking. We hear a lot about ‘the problems with too many patients, the industry being swamped ‘ and there is a constant demand for greater budgets. For the public services, customers are seen as a problem, for private industry they are the lifeblood. The more customers the better.

        3. Public services don’t have market price discovery. The state has to guess what something is worth. Cancer vs heart vs hip vs everything else is not predicated on market demand and price, but just a guess. It’s effectively a form of rationing and this isn’t a good use of scarce resources. It has no competition and the service isn’t subject to true market P and L. In other words, if they pay too much, select the wrong service or make losses there are no incentives to correct the problem. There are no profit motives and similarly their are no loss risks.

        Often, the first place mentioned in terms of private health is the USA. However this isn’t really private health. The insurance companies and health suppliers are in bed with the Government. It’s not a laissez faire system by any stretch of the imagination, it’s closer to a Government blessed monopoly (the only way a monopoly-like our banking system-can exist).

          • This piece of work is based on a pesumption that all men are amoral, deterministic robots who must be kept in check by the application of the force of an authority.

            It denies man the faculty of reason and ethics. Arrow is actually making a circular argument by using his own unproven theory to suggest that capitalism could not work in that particular instance, because this is the way he believes men behave.

            I don’t see that today’s NHS is any different if we apply his theory, then the only thing that holds it together is the force of the state. It’s just another version of ‘might makes right’.

            The fact is that we are dependent on the goodwill and skill of whatever doctor, nurse or drug supplier who attends us. No amount of state intervention can possibly make that different. It doesn’t matter if we have a cold or terminal cancer, we are in the hands of the medical practitioner at that one point in time. We must rely on them to do their best for us because they have chosen their profession and wish to carry out their production to the highest standard they can manage. The involvement of the state and an NHS uniform does not distinguish a good surgeon from a homicidal maniac. That is down to the man, his skill and his ethics. No amount of licensing, training or structure can ever guarantee moral certainty.

            There are examples in the USA where hospitals were set up to treat the poorer people and the state closed them down in favour of the licensed state sanctioned medical services. It was the state which kept the monopoly going. The same happens with all areas of service/production. It’s only the weight of consumer preference that has prevented Uber from being banned in favour of the Government granted monopolist black cabs.

            So, I disagree that Arrows work is relevant. I do however agree that private health can’t be perfect, that it will also have issues, but that’s applicable to our current NHS. The problem we face is that the current NHS is not sustainable. Whatever happens something will need to change, the status quo is no longer an option.

  29. I am more worried by the Trade Union turning down 13.5% pay increase and asking for 4% instead. Somebody is treating Somebody as a complete idiot.

  30. question: how much productivity do you get from a doctor in his or her late 20s versus the training and coaching time required to develop them?

        • Just a word of advice to ‘Liberal_Elite’. Racism is horrible. It’s not a charge you should bandy about every time someone disagrees with you. You undermine its seriousness and insult the people who really are victims of racism.
          That’s why nobody takes people like Nick Clegg very seriously. He accuses all Eurosceptics of being racist Xenophobes, when the issue under discussion is whether we’re governed by EC Commissioners or the people we elected.

          (I’m not addressing those comments to Dr Reena, mind. She might have a point)

          • Liberal_Elite has taken it upon himself to intrude upon and “monitor” a number of websites his little left wing organisation disapproves of. Accusations of racism, sexism and various other pejorative labels are his stock in trade.

            Basically if you disagree with or challenge any left wing policies on immigration, race relations or gender issues you are racist/sexist. The left are busy attempting to delegitimise dissent.

  31. Your article is shocking on a number of levels. Thankfully doctors look beyond prejudice when they treat those in need. And you would probably be grateful to have me deliver your baby when in distress rather than a retired occupational health doctor who gave up general practice as he could not deal with the fact that he found it too difficult.

    • “Thankfully doctors look beyond prejudice when they treat those in need”. Yet you show prejudice against the older and experienced Dr Goodall for holding views counter to your own. In addition, how can you claim to speak for ALL doctors?

    • “Thankfully doctors look beyond prejudice when they treat those in need.”
      I think you find most people in any profession/job/trade look beyond their prejudice when carrying out the job they are paid to do – It’s the minimum requirement for most jobs I am afraid.

  32. I am truly amazed that this article is written by a woman. Dear author, your article is based purely on speculation and assumptions. We are here for patients and patients do not discriminate in the way you have. Ironically when they do ask specifically for a certain gender, it’s often for a female doctor. The NHS should be proud that it is now finally starting to have a good balance of people from all backgrounds and from both genders. If you have read any articles about leadership and patient safety it is actually in patients best interest to have a good mix of men and women, as indeed both have their own strengths. What is next? To many black and ethnic minorities in the NHS?

    • How many claiming to be Doctors on this page appear to have almost no ability to write correct English? Almost all.

      What else can’t they do properly?

  33. What a vile piece of writing! I particularly like the bit where Gyngell accuses doctors of being “out of touch with the real world”. You come and visit me on duty, duckie, and I’ll show you what the real world looks like. Can anyone seriously think that a doctor, who likely works in A&E and deals with aggressive drunks and dying car crash victims, is ” out of touch with the real world”? What sort of people are Conservative Women if they actually pay money for rabid junk like this?

  34. Thank you for a thought-provoking article. As the father of a 15-year old daughter who is focused currently on the medical profession I too am interested in the feminisation of the profession and its consequences.

    Unfortunately she is entering an industry that is dominated by an employer with a near monopoly. My (contestable) belief is that women tend still to be discriminated against as a gender when it comes to the jostling for power and influence at the top of the tree. Historically, the medical profession managed to retain considerable influence in the corridors of power – and their profession has benefited accordingly. As the gender balance has shifted their influence has waned and the natural consequences of the government’s near monopoly is starting to be felt.

    Assuming the natural consequences – that pay & conditions will progressively worsen over the next few decades – will our brightest and best continue to seek to become doctors ? I don’t think it is possible to call it right now – but this group of junior doctors is not going to be the last to face difficult personal career choices.

  35. For someone who doesn’t have to pee from 7 am to 10 pm you sound very much like a machine. But judging by the emoting probably a BMA sponsored script piece or something from the “progressive” monitors in the USA.

  36. I’d like to feel support for the junior doctors because Hunt does not impress me. However it is difficult to separate out how much of the disagreement is apolitical and genuinely related to working conditions and how much is being incited and/or exacerbated by left-wing political activists as a means to oppose and undermine a legitimately elected government. The fact that Labour party mouthpieces have jumped on this bandwagon makes me suspicious of the motives.

  37. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing an article like that ; inciting hatred for a profession that genuinely cares and daily, hourly goes above and beyond what their contractural obligations are. I am a woman and a doctor. I have been qualified for nearly ten years. I own a small semi detached house in Wales. I still have over 10000 of debt to fund my medical training. My hourly rate ( if you include the 15+ hours I do extra a week, every week in order to do my job safely and thoroughly) is currently around 20 pounds an hour. And you think we are self important? I’m not self important but I think what I do day to day is important. Whether that’s recognising someone has had a heart attack and getting them life saving treatment or recognising a sick baby and acting quickly to save their life. Yes that is bloody important. And if people like you spreading this hatred and distrust get their way, there will be no NHS and when one day you’re sick and dying of metastatic cancer, there will be no doctor to hold your hand into the night long after they were meant to go home, to cry with you and your family and give you pain relief to end your last hours in peace. Reading articles like yours makes me want to leave this profession even more. I feel privileged to do the job I do, privileged that people open up to me and share the things they do, but frankly it’s not worth this battering from the public. News flash. We actually CARE. But we are human beings and this demoralisation will lead to the demise to one of the best health care systems in the world. This is up to you.

  38. Kathy

    The strike, is not about safety.
    You are right about this and it is risible to hear doctors say “save our
    NHS” or “Safety first ” etc.

    Essentially the current crop of doctors voted to state that the current deal
    they have with regards to pension, working hours and weekend work, is
    Any worsening of this deal is unacceptable.
    Hunt wants to worsen this deal: more antisocial hours for
    less pay.

    I agree with junior doctors and when broadly compared with
    other similar professions they are right.
    This society will ultimately get the doctors it pays for. You do not want all
    doctors to be vocational types who would do it for a pittance; you need all
    sorts and it is not a good idea to exclude those who want an income comparable
    with law, for example.
    You must be clear on this:

    The overwhelming majority of junior doctors voted to say “less
    pay for more anti-social hours is unacceptable”.

    I agree. Look what happened to nursing.

  39. I am a doctor. A couple of other point:

    a) Comparing UK doctors employment rates to general European employment figures is entirely irrelevant.
    Could you not have compared how our pay and hours compare to other countries in Europe?
    More work for you, but much much more interesting and relevant.

    b) “The good old days”.
    Many doctor’s parents were doctors (like me). So we know all about the good old

    Here are a few difference:

    Doctors used to get free accommodation, their own dinning room with waiter
    service and much more public esteem. they did not get sued / were in constant
    fear of being sued.
    As time has passed they have had all these things taken away, but….they
    maintain job security and a good pension. They also have to work less hours per
    That latter is only a good thing: who wants a tired doctor?
    It is the very last profession were being tired is a good thing. It is
    expensive for the public not to have tired doctors because you need more of
    I know that I would not want a doctor who has been up for 24 hours anywhere
    near me. It is a good thing that those days are gone.

      • my daughter will have 70k of debt after finishing medical school to become a doctor…why the hell should she give up on her dreams because of ignorant people like yourself. Jealosy is a vile trait mr Two bags corbyn! what is your profession coz it sounds like you dont have one. Otherwise you would understand dedication.

  40. Speaking from own experience: Being a women politician, especially Torry, must have been an attractive options?

  41. I understand that junior doctors may not like the terms and conditions of their contracts, my advise is go and get another job, I guess it would be quite easy for such qualified people

  42. Possibly one of the most ignorant, vile pieces I have read so far. You have no qualification, insight or understanding about the profession. There is zero integrity or validity in your opinion. You should be ashamed of yourself for your disgusting attempt to force women’s rights backwards.

    And just to clarify – the doctor that breathes for you has years and years of training to safely administer the drugs required to sedate you, understand the anatomy of your airway and have the skills to safely intubate you, operate a complex machine to deliver adequate oxygen to meet your requirements, maintain your body’s homeostasis to keep you alive! What a moronic comment to suggest a doctor not be paid to do this. You are an imbecile to have missed the point of the original statement that ‘I am the Doctor that breathes for you’.

      • As prize pedant, I never thought I would com across the combination of pedantry and idiocy in your post. But you’re a Conservative, the latter comes with the territory.

        • Ah bless!

          I’m actually not a Conservative. I just don’t like flamboyant distortions of the truth to signal virtue.

    • France has a healthcare system which is a mixture of the two and is the one that other systems are judged by. Having experienced both that and the NHS I know which is better. The GP’s are paid €23 a visit which is refunded via the ‘carte vitale’ which has your photograph on it. It is the law that they examine you at each visit, listen to heart and breathing etc. When I compare this to what happened in the UK, £40 notional cost to the practice for a missed visit and a GP sitting behind a terminal asking computer generated questions, the difference is obvious. To see a consultant in the UK required multiple visits, often as the condition got worse and more difficult to treat. In France the access is much quicker, three weeks at most. The other obvious difference is the absence of multiple receptionists, who seem to think that you should discuss your ailments with them, in the French system. Medical tests are done quickly, normally next day, so that the medics can do science.

      • French system is indeed considered good. But In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US $4,086 per capita. In UK we spend 8.5% (and declining according to Government plans over next 4 years). UK system appears to be much better value for money.

        • Whilst I would not argue with your figures, except to point out that there is ‘top up’ insurance to pay for drugs etc, I would still say that the French system is better value for money in terms of results. Look at cancer deaths, still births and many other indicators. The abandonment of the elderly in the British system is morally obscene and does not occur in France to the same degree. One advantage that the French medics get is that they cannot be sued. This means that mistakes can be more easily rectified.

  43. I am a female Emergency Medicine consultant and I qualified in 1988.
    I work a full shift rota including nights, late shifts and weekends.
    I still enjoy my job and feel privileged to be in my position.
    I believe I as committed as my male colleagues and no more self-interested than anyone else.
    When I read this article I assumed it was meant to be ironic and (not particularly) amusing.
    I am amazed that such ill-informed nonsense is out there.
    I would be delighted to offer Ms Gyngell the opportunity to shadow me for a shift to see just how in touch with the real world doctors both old and young, male and female , junior and senior really are.

  44. ‘”I am the doctor who breathes for you during your operation”, one of the many signs read. Do they really think they should be paid to to breathe?’
    No Kathy they definitely do not, they’re talking about operating a medical ventilator.

  45. This article is sickening – I am a doctor who “breathes” for you during your operation – you understand so little about that even your comments are inaccurate. Maybe you need to hone your journalistic skills and see what a junior doctor does before you write inaccurate drivel

  46. Kathy, would you like to come and shadow any healthcare professional in my hospital-Hillingdon, west London, and allow your rhetoric to meet reality? Come and see a baby delivered or a person with a serious infection treated and see if your abstract ideas still hold up. Look forward to meeting you. Edward.Mullins @nhs.net.

  47. This is a terrible article, the main points of the contract debate blithely brushed aside. Doctors already work incredibly long and tough hours, the ‘good old days’ of never leaving the hospital were simply not safe for patients. Hours are restricted for good reason, unless you’d like that doctor ‘breathing for you’ to fall asleep. The Tory government are playing a dangerous game in trying to implement a ‘7-day NHS’ without any extra funding. Either they must get more doctors, which they are not, or work the existing doctors for more hours, making them dangerously overworked. Those saying that the junior docs should simply get a different job are ignorant. There already are not enough doctors, to risk loosing even more to Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is lunacy. Where will you get the staff for the miraculous 7-day NHS? Anyone working within the medical profession will be aware of the huge numbers already leaving. I hope that you will stop berating doctors as greedy (they are not asking for a pay rise, just not a pay cut) or lazy. I do not have the energy to start on the ridiculous assumption that women are not helping the NHS.

  48. I find the women-hating tone appalling however the logic used in this article almost as bad. From the straw man fallacy of us “leaving people dying in total war” to the use of un-referenced “statistics” like £500 000 to train a doctor and 25-50% unemployment to claiming a false dicotomy of either “hard working male doctors” or “part time females”. Abysmal writing.

  49. If this is the Dr Goodall, who is an occupational health doctor, then i would most certainly chose Dr Agarwal in an emergency any time!

  50. Because so many Labour party members, left wing activists and agitators fail to declare themselves when pretending to be “ordinary” members of the public or public sector.

  51. Quite a few doctors on here saying how poorly they are paid.

    Anyone willing to post their annual gross pay for the last 12 months (including overtime etc of course, because that then reflects how hard you work).

    • You first. seems only fair, when you demand it of others, right? oh, and be sure to include any income that you received without actually earning it, such as dividends, rental income etc. wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression now, would we?

      • I’m not the one moaning. However, as you ask I can tell you in received zero rental income, zero dividends, and an extremely high profit.

          • Dodge? I made a very big lump from a self-financed business (I was brought up to think boasting about income was rude). And zero rental or dividends. And I never forced any sales onto anyone who didn’t want them, and all money was made from risked capital.

            Now you.

    • Why should overtime be included? Why should anyone in an advanced technological economy need to work hard? We should all aim for a soft life, including soft work, if any work needs to be included, and despise the values of our predecessors in this nation-state as now largely irrelevant.

      • Well since the issue is about working overtime I thought it logical to include the payment for it.

        Fairly obvious I thought.

    • What about MPs who work twenty weeks a year and are paid more than Junior Doctors who work 48 weeks a year without a quarter of a million in expenses.

      • MP’s are a are 600 people, and the Doctors are like 2.2 per capita (1000 people) which is lower then France and Germany, what the MP’s could have done is take a pay cut as a symbolic gesture but it is money….please. Lucky we don’t have more crony capitalists like Osborne.

      • Well what about some poor sod with a crap job who works all the hours for little?

        The question is how much doctors are paid. No answers to date, surprisingly!

  52. I see the left wing agitators and subversives in the BMA have turned up en masse because the author of the article dares to challenge the junior doctors ‘national treasure’ status (and therefore immune to criticism) currently being peddled.

    • I am not a member of the BMA. I came here as this article was being roundly ridiculed by others on a message board where I am the only regular doctor contributor.
      Not every contrary opinion to yours is the product of a hidden conspiracy, though such claims are often made by those on the receiving end of just criticism when they have made hateful or farcical comments,
      Colonel. You seem to have some rather paranoid ideas, have you thought of consulting a psychiatrist. I could recommend several.

  53. What an ignorant article and terrible writing.. Kathy should really leave the journalism to a man..obviously they’re are more committed.

    • ‘The current strike action is an example of how feminisation corrupts the attitudes of their remaining male colleagues. They too have adopted the women’s self-interested producer capture culture.’. This is the sisterhood, it sounds like you are a feminist— as she says leave the work to the men (LOL). Like always money make things sour and people point at each other don’t you think?

  54. ‘The current strike action is an example of how feminisation corrupts the attitudes of their remaining male colleagues. They too have adopted the women’s self-interested producer capture culture.’ It is fun that a woman says that things are ruined by a woman.

  55. A despicable piece by a very despicable woman. The vile Margaret Thatcher, the worst thing to happen to Britain since Adolf Hitler, would have approved.

    • The NHS will be partly privatized soon, if you have a family etc…. you will need to get private cover with your employer or privately, just start to prepare.

      • Better hope you are not already ill, don’t expect private cover to include pre-existing illness. Or GPs, who do the huge majority of NHS medical consultations. Or a paramedic, nevermind and ambulance, if you get knocked down or have a heart attack at home. Or…well, need I go on.
        For those tempted to claim that they have insurance so should be exempt from NHS contributions, remember the description of, amongst others, Insurance Companies as those who will hire you an umbrella when the sun shines, then demand it back when it rains.

        • It is obvious that this privatization will happen people always forgot what the happened to unions and the coal mines historically, the system might be like other countries like Canada and the in the long run become like the US, which we all fantasies about.

  56. You – Kathy Gyngell are what is known as an idiot. You lack of knowledge, lack an ounce of insight or social intellect and do nothing for woman kind let alone the conservatives if you write such utter excrement. Please engage your brain before attempting to write ANYTHING again – you are offensive and an example of the cruel arrogant conservatives this public is currently enduring. I used to vote conservative but those days are gone. Why – because of idiots like you. P.s I saved many lives today, stayed 4 hours beyond any shift pattern unpaid, told 3 relatives their husbands are dying and dealt with major traumas from car accidents and saved several lives. Oh yes – I am a junior doctor and proud of it. If you don’t want me I know several other countries that do – and don’t you moan that you had to pay to train me – I’ve repaid by debt to society and some – if in doubt ask my kids who haven’t seen me for 8 days. You madam should be ashamed

    • He would have to retrain after a while anyway, but the working hours thing is true, when you have females in the area then the work place is more flexible.

  57. What a rankly sexist article. I am an older male doctor, yet it seems that I, too, am not allowed to have regrets for the interference my career (nothing special as a medical career goes, very much a coalface worker) has had on my relationship with my own kids as they have grown up.
    It is telling that, despite having both the biosciences interest, and the academic ability, neither have any intention of applying for medicine. Of my generation, a significant proportion had medical parents; only one of us has a child at or applying for medical school.

    I could reprise the Four Yorkshiremen sketch and recount how “well, of course, I had it tough.” And I did – as a junior doctor I did far longer shifts and on call then is currently the case – and the generation before Me had even more onerous patterns. But so what? Firstly, hospital medicine has got ever-more complicated, so the work is different. More importantly, the reduction in hours has been hard-won, usually against opposition from governments of various shades. And now the current lot want to reverse those improvements in the quality of medical care.
    Hunt has picked a fight with a group of people who know far better than most what academic statistics do and do not support, and to justify his position he misuses a paper that even the authors state does not say what he claims for it. Much as now he claims the support of hospital chief executives, many of whom are saying that they do Not support the imposition of a new contract.

Comments are closed.